Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Back From Haiti

Executive director Shannon Mulholland's emergency response experience with Unicef and the International Rescue Committee was greatly needed this month after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti. The Coffee Connections Project therefore temporarily put operations on hold and Shannon went to help the American Refugee Committee (ARC) plan, set up, and manage a refugee camp for internally displaced people near the Dominican Republic border.

She spent close to a month on the ground, first in the Dominican Republic and then in Fonds Parisien where the ARC set up a camp able to shelter up to 1,000 people—mostly those requiring post-operative care and their families.

Her day-to-day activities included building shelters, digging latrines, distributing food and water, setting up an office from which to manage ARC's operations, and soliciting funding. She raised over $2 million in financial and in-kind donations from various donors on the ground. She also spent a large part of each day providing support, counseling and a shoulder to cry on for earthquake survivors who had lost everything—family members, limbs, their sense of security, and ensuring security and assistance was provided to women who had recently given birth.

She was constantly escorted by a gaggle of children, whose parents or relatives were staying in the camp.

Here she is being interviewed by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN):

And she is quoted in this article on

Just 10 minutes from the gates of the Village is a compound where Shannon Mulholland of the American Refugee Committee tries to heal some of the emotional wounds caused by the earthquake. Once a patient is discharged, they may be transferred to the camp to be reunited with family members and start the long road to normalcy. The compound supports 115 survivors, including three pregnant women and 10 children younger than a month old.
“Here in Haiti they have nothing,” Mulholland said. “Our goal is to provide shelter and support. The hospital rehabilitates limbs. We want to rehabilitate lives.”

Shannon is now back in New York and looking forward to ramping up sales of Safi Coffee, and looking for new distribution channels and partners. Watch this space for exciting developments over the next few months.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Commitment to the UN Millenium Development Goals

Because Safi Coffee is an ultra-socially responsible coffee company, we have decided to commit to the United Nations Global Compact.

We support the UN Millenium Development Goals to end poverty and hunger, promote universal education, gender equality, child and maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, and to promote environmental sustainability and global partnership.

From Shannon's letter to Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General:

Sunday, 10 January 2010

What Kind of Coffee Drinker Are you?

Are you a caffeine addict or a connoisseur? Do you prefer filter or frappee?

We've created a market survey to find out how, where and why our friends and customers enjoy their coffee.

Please take a few moments to fill it out for us - we promise it won't take long and it will really help us make sure we are providing the right product to you our valued customers.

Click here to take survey

Friday, 8 January 2010

Hoping for a Win!

We just entered to win the Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America! How can anyone be more sustainable than us?!

This award acknowledges individuals, businesses and organizations that have created innovative projects to expand and promote sustainability within the coffee world while inspiring others to initiate similar endeavors.
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

RIP David Gachigi

Some very sad news for us at the Coffee Connections Project: one of our most enthusiastic and dedicated farmers David Gachigi passed away recently. He had been suffering from high blood pressure.

David was one of the more senior farmers in the Coffee Connections program, and as such was a valuable link between the Rural Development Connections organizers and the farming community we work with. He will be sorely missed.

David took real pride in his farm. He took great care of the soil and set up beautiful trellises all over his land to collect rainwater. His son Francis has taken over his 2-acre farm (one of the larger ones in the program), and despite the family's loss, he is determined to keep things going.

RIP David Gachigi.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Coffee: Healthier than we thought, but not good for everyone

Saw this interesting article on the Wall Street Journal about the purported health benefits of coffee. There have been a lot of claims recently that coffee can help reduce the risk of everything from heart disease to cancer, which we obviously think is excellent news.

Many of these new studies seem to contradict older research which generally held that coffee was bad for you and actually increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Turns out that many coffee drinkers were also smokers and when the health risks from smoking were factored out of the equation, suddenly the coffee drinkers actually enjoyed a number of health benefits!

However this article reminds people that for every benefit there is a tradeoff. It's still not good for pregnant women or people with hypertension for example. Perhaps coffee should also come with the label "Please Enjoy Responsibly"? Read more here:

Here are some more interesting stats from the article:
  • Diabetes: Many studies find that coffee—decaf or regular—lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but caffeine raises blood sugar in people who already have it.
  • Cancer: Earlier studies implicating coffee in causing cancer have been disproven; may instead lower the risk of colon, mouth, throat and other cancers.
  • Heart disease: Long-term coffee drinking does not appear to raise the risk and may provide some protection.
  • Hypertension: Caffeine raises blood pressure, so sufferers should be wary.
  • Cholesterol: Some coffee—especially decaf—raises LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol.
  • Alzheimer's: Moderate coffee drinking appears to be protective.
  • Osteoporosis: Caffeine lowers bone density, but adding milk can balance out the risk.
  • Pregnancy: Caffeine intake may increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth-weight babies.
  • Sleep: Effects are highly variable, but avoiding coffee after 3 p.m. can avert insomnia.
  • Mood: Moderate caffeine boosts energy and cuts depression, but excess amounts can cause anxiety.

Source: WSJ research

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Family and Friends Roast Available

Safi Coffee's Family and Friend Roast is now available. If you would like a bag of the limited edition supply use the paypal button below.

Coffee is sold in 12oz bags. You have a choice between dark or light roast. Shipments will be sent within 24 orders of purchase.

To purchase the limited edition supply please see our website: